NASA's Curiosity Rover Snaps Another Stunning 'Selfie' On Mars


01/30/2016 06:31 am ET | Updated Jan 30, 2016
  • Lee Moran Trends Editor, The Huffington Post

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover just loves a good selfie.

The car-sized explorer took time out from its busy sand scooping and sieving schedule to snap yet another self-portrait on Mars.

The spectacular image -- perhaps the ultimate humble brag -- is a composite of 57 photographs it took of itself by the Red Planet's Namib Dune on Jan. 19:

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover snapped the selfie at the Namib Dune, where it was scooping samples of sand for lab analysis.

NASA scientists used its Mars Hand Lens Imagers camera at the end of its arm to snap the shot.  As the image is a composite, only part of the arm is visible.

The selfie, which NASA released on Friday, is at least the third that Curiosity has beamed back to Earth since first landing on the planet on Aug. 6, 2012.

In August 2015, it sent back a 92-image composite selfie after drilling a rock nicknamed "Buckskin" in the Marias Pass area.

Meanwhile, in June 2014, it snapped a self-portrait to celebrate being on Mars for exactly one full Martian year -- the equivalent of 687 Earth days.

The Curiosity rover used electric lights at night to illuminate this postage-stamp-size view of Martian sand grains.

The explorer's initial mission was to "determine whether Mars once offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life."

For the last two months, it's investigated active sand dunes and how the wind moves on the Bagnold Dune Field lining the northwestern flank of the planet's Mount Sharp.

"The mission's examination of active sand dunes -- the first ever studied up close other than on Earth -- is providing information about active dune processes in conditions with much less atmosphere and less gravity than on Earth," NASA revealed in a statement.

"Researchers are evaluating possible sites for the next use of Curiosity's drill to collect rock-powder samples of the bedrock in the area," the space agency added.


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